PG47 (Campo 47) escapees and the suicide of the NZ Camp CO

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by davidbfpo, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Well-Known Member

    I did briefly think about that option and decided not to. As the suicide was conducted on NZ Army premises when suicide was illegal in the UK I am not convinced the Coroner would have had extra information or witness testimony.
  2. GeoffMNZ

    GeoffMNZ Well-Known Member

    Some Youtube videos about this event;

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  3. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Well-Known Member

    From Clayden Shuttleworth's great grandson having found this thread and making contact: 'I was able to tell my family a little more information about him that they were not aware of. Especially information about his time as a POW. Obviously a lot of it was hushed up given the nature of his death. Details surrounding his death at the time were kept from my grandmother to protect her. Several years later, General Freyberg visited her to see how she was getting on in life.'

    Indirect contact is underway with the Shuttleworth family who live elsewhere.

    Now in contact with his grandson. The wonders of the Web and persistence. Plus the help of those "behind the scenes".
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  4. ecalpald

    ecalpald Chick LaPlace

    "Tunes of Glory" with Sir Alec Guinness and Sir John Mills immediately came to mind when I read of this sad event. A favorite movie of mine.
  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Well-Known Member

  6. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Well-Known Member

  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Well-Known Member

    I am still waiting for the NZDEF file for another officer who died in England, who had been with Lt. Col. Clayden Shuttleworth, but another angle appeared which may have had an impact.

    The Senior British Officer (SBO) at another POW Camp PG21, near Chieti, was an Indian Army Lt. Col. William Dobie Marshall, of the 1/5th Mahratta Light Infantry. He was captured on 28/6/1942 @ Fuka, part of The First Battle of El Alamein; along with his Brigadier Denys Whitehorn Reid and Marshall was transferred to Italian custody (confirmed from POW Card, held at the British Library). His battalion was not captured.

    The post-war history of the Mahratta Regiment refers very briefly to the officer’s capture @ Fuka, to the Germans. On pg. 302 refers. See: Valour Enshrined: A History of the Maratha Light Infantry: 1768-1947. Bombay: Orient Longman, 1960 (via David Ryan). From: A Brief History of the Mahratta Light Infantry

    Reid was captured, when commanding a brigade, 5th Indian Division's 29th Indian Brigade on 28/6/1942, in the First Battle of El Alamein. See: Denys Whitehorn Reid - Wikipedia

    His actions are well explained in 'An Extraordinary Italian Imprisonment: The Brutal Truth of Campo 21, 1942-1943 by Brian Lett. I have now read the relevant parts of this book. See:

    Lord Robert 'Bob' Blake, later a famous Oxford University historian, was captured @ Tobruk and refers to the SBO:
    Then (pg. 51 & digital pg.52) :
    From: Blake, Bobby | Monte San Martino Trust Archives

    Lett refers to the SBO (on pg.198):
    At midnight 20-21/9/1943 the German Army arrived and took over the camp. The POWs who remained would spend another 18 months in German captivity. Lett refers to the SBO (on pg. 214-215):
    It is possible Clayden Shuttleworth knew of Marshall's behaviour in Italy and that an enquiry was likely. Clearly he would not have known of the result as he died on 15/5/1945. Perhaps he knew via the POW "grapevine" or when in a German POW Camp those from PG21 were there.

    Marshall's Indian Army personal file has no mention of his time as a SBO, nor a POW and after the war ended he returned to India. One note refers to his services no longer being required, as the Indian Army moved towards Independence and on 21/6/1947 he left the Army to return to the UK. He died @ Eastbourne in 1957. From:

    Lett refers to the SBO @ Modena (PG47) on pg. 147:
    This is confirmed by the Official NZ History
    From: I: Events preceding and immediately following the Italian Armistice | NZETC

    Going through my notes and this thread Captain Wood's diary also states the German takeover was on 9/9/1943. See:
    The Diary of Captain R M Wood

    It is easier to conclude that Clayden Shuttleworth was betrayed by the Italian camp commandant; whereas at PG21 the Germans arrived after ten days on 20-21/9/1943, to find most POW were still there, although a small number did escape - some for awhile, others successfully.

    A Kiwi military historian commented:
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  8. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    An interesting possibility, as you say Shuttleworth may have been anticipating an enquiry, wether or not he had heard of Marshall's behaviour. It's easy to imagine him not knowing how the various SBO's actions at the Italian Armistace would be viewed back in the UK.
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  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Well-Known Member

    Yes and my apologies I missed a few references and a Kiwi quote - all of which have just been added.

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